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The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die

2.37  ·  Rating details ·  138 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
It’s 1939 in Poland, and Arab knows that standing up for anyone—especially her Jewish family—only paints a target on her back. So she plans to survive the Nazi occupation the way she always has: disguise herself as an Aryan boy, lead her street gang, and sell whatever she can steal.

But though Arab starts the war with the one goal of staying alive, others have different ide
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Sky Pony Press
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Katherine Locke
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
*maybe read the link before you come in here and tell me that as a Jew, I can't use the word antisemitic for this book. Maybe don't do that. I'm not repeating myself on why this book is problematic.*

Full review to come later this week but this is without a doubt the worst and most antisemitic Holocaust book I've read since FOR SUCH A TIME by Kate Breslin and I am APPALLED by it.

I should be more ~professional~ and ~tactful~ but there are LITERALLY more "Good Nazis" than Good Jews in this book an
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Like so many Jewish women during the Holocaust, I'm sure my grandmother did like sooo many things just like this character. What things do you ask? Well things the average 20th Century Jewish girl did during the war, like:
1. Stopping to appreciate the clean visuals of a Nazi rally, those Nazi really put on a show!
2. Complementing Hitler
3. Spending a lot of time reminiscing about Christmas
4. Singing herself to sleep to Silent Night (you know that Christmas song us Jews love)
5. Speaking perfect He
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: anti-Semites
So y'all are really trying it.

Do not give this person your money. Do not buy this book.

I thought folks would have learned better after the outrage over "For Such a Time" but apparently not!

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this book represents EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH HOLOCAUST FICTION and it is deeply offensive. I read a few sections of this book because I wanted to see for myself before writing this review. I literally felt nauseous from how incredibly wrong this author gets Jewish
James Phobos
May 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
So maybe it's just me, but I feel if you are going to write historical fiction, you should be decently versed in the time period and culture in which your story takes place.

However, Randall Platt's writing shows her to be ignorant about even the most basic facts of World War II, the actions of the Nazis, and the reactions of the Jewish people at the time.

Similarly, I feel that if you are going to write a Jewish protagonist, you should do research into Judaism, or at least the Jewish community.
May 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
this book lacks historical context, commodifies the experiences of Jews during The Holocaust, and plays to classic antisemitic rhetoric and stereotypes. Not to mention that the author took Warsaw, home to a real, moving, and beautiful Jewish Resistance movement (that needs no altering to be inspiring), and instead chose to tell this story.

This book is offensive, crass, and callous. The author should be ashamed of themselves for how poorly done and downright nauseating this is.
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Antisemitic garbage that both demonizes and fetishizes Jews in 1930s Poland, *and* makes Nazis the heroes.

My husband's late grandparents were Holocaust survivors and they are rolling in their graves at this dumpster fire.

Author is trash for writing this, editor is trash for publishing as is, and all involved should be ashamed of themselves.
May 11, 2017 marked it as stay-away-from
Katherine Locke's essay tells me all I need to know.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Are you tired of Jews who are still whiny about the Holocaust? Do you scour the shelves of your local library in the hopes that finally some brave author will illuminate the plight of the true victims--and heroes--of the Holocaust, The Good Nazis (TM)? Do you want a book to read that can knock "a book about Nazi occupation" off your list of books to read so you can feel smart at parties without making you actually come face to face with any real form of ableism, antisemitism, and homophobia? Loo ...more
Sam Levitz
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a young Jewish woman who spent her adolescence learning about the Holocaust, this is exactly the kind of book I would've gotten my hands on back then. Arab is an amazing female protagonist, who radiates love and strength throughout her journey. Her story is enticing, and her voice is powerful and inspiring. She's an amazing role model for young girls and women alike who might discover they have a hidden strength inside them they never knew they had. Her story will make you laugh, cry, and fee ...more
May 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Antisemitic, ignorant, horrible (& anachronistic) voice, with a highly unlikeable main character. Let's not even talk about the "nice" Nazis. And Arab? Really? Did the author think that bastardization of the name Abra would be edgy? Blech.
May 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Y'all are wild for this one goyim
May 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Disgustingly antisemitic. No Jewish person could read this and actually believe that this girl is Jewish.

This book makes Nazis the heroes and has the main character, who is supposed to be Jewish, someone who says she respects them as a whole. This novel is a disgrace and historically inaccurate.
Kevin (sumptuousbooks)
May 11, 2017 marked it as to-not-be-read
Really antisemitic.
May 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Antisemitic garbage. Should be pulled from publication entirely.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm shocked by the number of one star reviews for this carefully researched, well written historical novel. (Particularly since many of those who scored it didn't bother to read the book. )The author's intent is not to be anti Semitic; she is providing a fictional account of events containing layers of truth. War is not a pretty story, and characters inside a novel such as this will try to survive using less than palatable means. Arab, as a protagonist, isn't "likable" in the traditional story t ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: wtf-authors
Maybe it's unfair to rate a book I haven't read a one, but it's not my first time and will not be my last. I'll just point you to Katherine Locke's review and hope you understand why.
May 12, 2017 marked it as will-never-read
Note to self:

Will never read because of anti-Semitism. See here.
Thanks to Sky Pony Press for a copy of this finished book in exchange for a fair review.

Abra Goldstein is dead, well not really but she does have her own gravestone in the cemetery. But don't call her Abra, just call her Arab and well don't call her a girl either. She knows from spending the last two years in Vienna that the Nazi's don't care for Jews or girls, and she plans to leave both behind and survive what is coming.

So she returns home to Warsaw and resumes her street life. She avoids the
May 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
I have not read this book and I have no intention of ever reading this book. I'm shelving it with a 1-star rating for the purpose of deterring others from reading this book.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I do love a good anti-Semitic book where there are more 'good Nazis' than good Jewish people.
Carol Crigger
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a teenager, I read Leon Uris’s book, Mila 18, and began badgering my parents as to why I’d never heard anything about the Warsaw Ghetto and what the Nazis did to the Jewish people there. They never had a good answer for me. But that began a search for whatever I could read about a persecuted people forced into a ghetto and their final resistance. About those courageous few who survived long enough, despite starvation and deportation to death camps, to take on the might of Nazi Germany, and wh ...more
Lil E.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Yeesh. After reading this book I am having some mixed thoughts. Alrighty, let’s start of with the bad parts, shall we.

1. Having the main character (who is Jewish by the by) compliment Hitler and the Nazis is NOT an appropriate idea for a Holocaust book.

2. Sure, making friends is great...except when they are Nazi soldiers who could easily have you arrested or killed at any moment.

3. I also noticed that the author could have put so much more time into researching about the Jewish religion AND the
Grier Jewell
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Buckle up buttercup. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die delivers a relentless present-tense punch in the gut in this stark account of war, identity and resistance. In other words, it’s not for dainty readers.

Told through the narration of teenage Arab (Abra in her former life) there is nothing as simple as good and bad in the world of gutted wartime Warsaw. There is a slow growing chill that devolves into evil and horror, chaos and inhumanity. And there are the people who strive to resist in whichever wa
Connie Claussen
There is no better read than a strong young female character, Arab, who is street smart, fearless and self-sufficient. For younger readers this is a gripping description of a desperate time in Warsaw, Poland in 1939 when Hitler created the Jewish ghetto in the city and Arab’s determination to survive makes her a great role model The author makes history and the characters come alive. Her characters are determined to survive one of the worst periods of our history and you feel their fear, strengt ...more
Marjorie Reynolds
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s 1939. Hitler’s soldiers occupy Warsaw, Poland where Abra Goldstein, a sixteen-year-old Jewish girl posing as a disheveled, thieving, gentile boy, has only one goal. To stay alive. Although she hides her abilities, she can speak five languages, boldly confront the enemy and make tough decisions in life-threatening situations. She is shrewd, ruthless and unrelenting. Despite her determination to avoid Jewish comrades and Nazi invaders, she is drawn into the resistance, putting herself, her yo ...more
M. Kane
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
It's wild how antisemitic this is.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A point of view that is often ignored for more glorious tales from the period. Embark on a journey with a young peddler, an arabber without their own horse.*

This book hit on many notes which were familiar. Personal note: this reviewer, comes from a Jewish community, with a sizable population of immigrants from Poland.

Take the book with an appropriate amount of salt, praise is given with such sarcasm and spite that it amounts to a backhanded compliment.

There are notes of self loathing found th
Paige Green
Jan 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Rating: 1/5

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, antiemetic remarks, historical inaccuracies, rape, child death, inaccurate cultural information)

Genre: YA Historical Fiction (borders on the edge of straight fiction though because of the amount of historical inaccuracies)

Pages: 358

Author: Randall Platt


I received a free copy of this book from Dayle at The Literary Llama for a guest reviewing position! Thanks! All opinions are my own.

It’s 1939 in Poland and Arab (don’t call her Abra Goldstein) kno
American Mensa
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Poor Research, Okay Story
The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die is a historical fiction novel that follows a teenage, Jewish girl, stupidly named Arab, who deals with contraband in Warsaw during the first 2 years of German occupation. She ends up joining the resistance to save the one she loves, and around half of the book follows her life in the resistance.
The main problem with this book was the characterization of Arab, as she did and thought many things that were not Jewish at all and would have been ex
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-in-library
2.5 stars
The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die is a historical fiction novel that follows a teenage, Jewish girl, stupidly named Arab, who deals with contraband in Warsaw during the first 2 years of German occupation. She ends up joining the resistance to save the one she loves, and around half of the book follows her life in the resistance.
The main problem with this book was the characterization of Arab, as she did and thought many things that were not Jewish at all and would have been extremely unlike
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Randall Platt writes fiction for adults and young adults and those who don't own up to being either. Platt, a lifelong resident of the Upper Left Hand Corner, has been a full-time writer for twenty-five years which is certainly long enough to know better. But since Platt finds no shortage of fascinating characters and stories springing from the beau
More about Randall Platt

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